[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Display remains the undisputed leader in the global smartphone display market thanks to the high demand for flexible OLED panels which are being widely adopted by smartphone makers, according to a recent report by market researcher IHS on June 29.
The display-making unit of Samsung Electronics topped the market for small- and medium-sized displays measuring 9 inches and below by posting US$3.55 billion revenue in the first quarter. The figure accounts for 27.2 percent of the overall segment, followed by Japan Display with 17.8 percent and LG Display with 12.2 percent.
In the smartphone display segment, Samsung beat other rivals with its market share standing at 34.6 percent during the first three months, followed by JDI’s 18.8 percent and LG Display’s 12.7 percent.
This segment takes up a whopping 76.2 percent share in the entire small- and medium-sized display market, and generated a total of US$9.94 billion revenue in the cited period, up 41 percent on-year.
A noticeable factor in the smartphone segment is that the average display size for smartphones has increased from 4.5 inches to 4.8 inches, and those with resolution higher than HD quality have joined the mainstream.
Demand for the flexible OLED display, which is often deployed for premium smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S8, saw a significant growth in the three-month period, the IHS report showed. The total sales generated by flexible OLED displays grew 124 percent on-year to US$1.11 billion.
Flexible OLED has gained popularity among smartphone makers as the technology boasts greater color contrast and energy efficiency than traditional LCD and gives set makers a leeway to differentiate the product design.
Tech giant Apple is expected to adopt flexible OLED for its upcoming iPhone, tentatively dubbed the iPhone 8. Samsung currently dominates the flexible OLED market with its market share reaching 95 percent, according to IHS.
“Around 14.5 billion units of flexible OELD displays are expected to be shipped this year, generating US$9.26 billion in revenue,” said an official from the market research firm, forecasting that the shipments and total market revenue will likely increase to 39.6 billion units and US$20.9 billion, respectively, in 2020.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)